Impromptu (2014)

Ralph Rainger / Leo Robin, Tony Overwater, Miles Davis, Jule Styne / Sammy Cahn, Victor Young / Ned Washington

Bert van den Brink, Tony Overwater

Harry and Michel, our good friends and advisors from the High End audio shop ''Rhapsody" in Hilversum, were celebrating the shop's 25th anniversary. They invited master bassist Tony Overwater and pianist extraordinaire Bert van den Brink to come and play a concert in the listening room of the shop. The room was filled to the brim with audio enthusiasts, the closest listener being just a few feet from the musicians and the microphones.

When the audience is so close to the musicians, a synergy occurs. The audience becomes part of the music making and help spur the musicians on to great heights. The musicians feeling the empathy from the audience dare to take chances that one rarely hears in a studio recording. Tony and Bert had not performed together as a duo before, and no rehearsal had taken place prior to the Rhapsody concert, but the music these two masters of improvisation created that sunny afternoon in Rhapsody, is simply breathtaking.

The recording conditions were not ideal. The doors in the back of the room were opened several times by people trying to squeeze in, making the sound from the espresso machine in the hall and the DJ playing ambient music in the garden faintly audible at the beginning of each set. Later halfway through the concert the windows of the room had to be opened for air. The DJ turned off his music but he was immediately replaced by the sound of birds singing. If listening closely one can hear them, chime in, in the quiet parts.

These outside factors contributed to the unique atmosphere of this recording and that is yet another reason why; Impromptu (a musical composition prompted by the spirit of the moment) is such an apt title.

Frans de Rond

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Tony Overwater

Tony Overwater is an award winning bass player whose sound and unique way of playing have established him as a key player in the European Jazz world. He is a remarkable solo performer and leader of his own projects but also a collaborative and attentive sideman. Tony plays a wide variety of musical styles, and is particularly known for his pioneering work with Arab music with Rima Khcheich. Besides composing for the bands he leads and works with, Tony writes for modern dance, documentaries, movies and children's music.

In 1989,Tony graduated cum laude from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and received the Podium Prize for most promising Dutch Jazz Musician. This year also saw him invited to tour and record with Sunny and David Murray. Shortly after this, he joined the Yuri Honing Trio which, over the years, has established itself as one of Holland’s leading groups touring regularly in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. His own band, The Tony Overwater Trio, received an Edison for Best Dutch Recording of 2001 for their CD ‘OP’ and his first children’s album, ‘Kikker Swingt!’, went Gold in 2008. His trio performed with Calefax Reed Quintet on the Ellington Suites. Tony is musical director of the group of Rima Khcheich in Lebanon. Throughout his career, Tony has worked with a variety of acclaimed musicians; David Liebman,Ack van Rooyen, Misha Mengelberg, Paolo Fresu, Sylvie Courvoisier, Gilbert Paeffgen, Dave Burrell . He continues to collaborate as both leader and sideman with many other musicians including Jess Abrams, Karin Hammar, Marc van Roon and Lotte van Dijck.

Bert van den Brink

Bert van den Brink was born on the 24th. of july 1958. Bert studied classical piano at the conservatory of Utrecht. (The Netherlands) with piano legend Herman Uhlhorn . He graduated cum laude in 1982. In that same year he was employed at the Utrechts' conservatory to teach jazz piano. In 2007 Bert van den Brink was awarded the VPRO/BOY EDGAR-AWARD, the most prestigious award for jazz music in the Netherlands. Bert has recorded and performed with the absolute top of the international music scene; Gino Vannelli ,Richard Bona ,Toots Thielemans, Chet Baker, Nat Adderley, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Rick Margitza, Philip Catherine, Jesse van Ruller, Clare Fischer, Enrico Pieranunzi, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Denise Jannah....to name a few. His compositions and arrangements has been performed by the Metropole orchestra, the Dutch Wood winds Ensemble, Denise Jannah, the Houdini's and new Sinfonietta Amsterdam.

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Impromptu (2014)

Ralph Rainger / Leo Robin, Tony Overwater, Miles Davis, Jule Styne / Sammy Cahn, Victor Young / Ned Washington

Bert van den Brink, Tony Overwater

    NativeDSD Blog

“Impromptu” vividly captures the sound of an intimate venue at a very special one-time performance. Cue the 4th track on “Impromptu” on your music server, turn up the volume, and step for a moment outside your listening room… you’ll feel as if you’re walking away from the musicians, not from your loudspeakers. How was this illusion created? Here’s the recipe: take one adventurous audio engineer, add five strategically-placed microphones, sift it all through DSD recording technology, and stir in a large portion of musical magic. Describing the spontaneity of live recordings, album engineer Frans de Rond writes: “The audience becomes part of the music-making and help spur the musicians on to great heights. The musicians feeling the empathy from the audience dare to take chances that one rarely hears in a studio recording.“ When bassist Tony Overwater and pianist Bert Van Den Brink were invited to perform an impromptu set of tunes on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the high-end audio shop “Rhapsody”, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, they were definitely taking chances. The two musicians had never performed together before, and there was no prior rehearsal. An enthusiastic invited audience packed Rhapsody’s listening room — one wonders how there was enough space to fit in a grand piano. The stage was set for whatever might happen. Prior to hearing this album, I was familiar with bassist Tony Overwater through his SACD recordings “O.P.”, a tribute to the American bass player and composer Oscar Pettiford, and “Jungle Boldie”, an eclectic modern trio project with reeds player Maarten Ornstein and drummer Wim Kegel. Overwater’s ability to adapt and communicate effectively with pianist Bert van den Brink, in spite of never having performed together, is a measure of his experience and creative resources. Half the tunes in this set are well-known standards: “If I Should Lose You”, “I Fall in Love Too Easily”, “Nardis” and “My Foolish Heart”; the latter two songs are closely associated with pianist Bill Evans. Three improvisations and Tony Overwater’s composition “De Boot” fill out the set. Van den Brink generally opens with an unaccompanied introduction, then states the melody of the song, which sets a tone for Overwater’s accompaniment. Each player solos, in turn, having established the tempo and overall mood in which the piece will be presented. Appropriately enough, considering the name of the audio shop, Bert van den Brink plays in a rhapsodic style, freely embellishing and orchestrating the songs with decorative arpeggios and dense chords. The familiarity of the standards provides a framework for reframing the melodies in fresh and unexpected turns of phrase. Overwater accompanies with restraint and good musical judgment, making for a unified sound that belies the absence of a performing history with van den Brink. It all works, which might have surprised the musicians and much as it pleased the audience. Many of the other releases from Sound Liaisons are studio sessions recorded with a single-point stereo microphone, a rigorous and painstaking approach to production. The label has a goal of establishing a distinctive house sound while documenting new jazz music from the Netherlands. It’s an exciting venture that has earned critical praise from audio and jazz enthusiasts and a place in this listener’s music library.

Mark Werlin[read full review]

Impromptu (2014)

Ralph Rainger / Leo Robin, Tony Overwater, Miles Davis, Jule Styne / Sammy Cahn, Victor Young / Ned Washington

Bert van den Brink, Tony Overwater

Cables: Grimm Audio TPR
Digital Converters: TASCAM DA-3000
Mastering Engineer: Frans de Rond
Mastering Equipment: Grimm Audio LS1
Microphones:

Piano: Neumann TLM 170 (2x)
Bass: JZ V67
Room mic's: Sonodore RCM-402 (2x)

 

Recording Engineer: Frans de Rond
Recording location: Rhapsody, Hilversum Holland
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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SL1010A: Impromptu
00:56:00   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Impromptu
00:08:59   Select quality & channels above
2.
If I should lose you
Ralph Rainger / Leo Robin
00:06:50   Select quality & channels above
3.
Rhapsody Blues
00:07:16   Select quality & channels above
4.
De boot
Tony Overwater
00:07:15   Select quality & channels above
5.
Silence
00:07:04   Select quality & channels above
6.
Nardis
Miles Davis
00:05:52   Select quality & channels above
7.
I fall in love too easily
Jule Styne / Sammy Cahn
00:07:11   Select quality & channels above
8.
My foolish heart
Victor Young / Ned Washington
00:05:33   Select quality & channels above

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